Hornets will ask city for money to upgrade arena - | WBTV Charlotte

Hornets will ask city for money to upgrade arena

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The Hornets are requesting about $42 million from the city to upgrade Time Warner Cable Arena.  The arena is 10 years old and officials claim now is the time to make some improvements.

"We want our building to be competitive," Hornets President & COO Fred Whitfield said. "Because every building is looking for that edge in trying to attract quality events to their city."

The arena books about 150 events a year.  Leaders want more and think upgrades will make that happen.  If approved the improvements would be spread out for five years.  They include millions for a new score board, suite upgrades, new flooring, new lighting, TV monitors and other upgrades. City staff will make a recommendation on how much the city should pay. 

Right now it won't be the $40 million figure the Hornets want.

"I will tell you that where we are," Charlotte Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble said. "Is not at that level - that's all I am willing to say at this point."

In about a month city council could start discussions about how much to give the Hornets. One thought is to have the Hornets contribute.

"That is something that has been discussed," Kimble said. "And will be shown as the results of some of our discussions how they might be able to participate with us."

Hornets leaders say they are willing to work with the city to come up with a solution.  They believe the proposed upgrades will benefit all.

"We feel like our city is as good as any other city," Whitfield said. "From the infrastructure point from downtown and we want to keep our building fresh."

To look at the suggested improvements click here.

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